Hearing loss has far reaching consequences beyond the ability to detect sound. It causes problems understanding conversational speech, for both the person with the hearing loss and for friends and family. For most of us, social situations are very important, as they add pleasure and meaning to our day to day lives. When hearing loss begins to interfere with our ability to communicate, this pleasure is lessened and many additional problems occur.
Depression is one common consequence. Increased difficulty hearing makes social situations much less pleasant and often results in social withdrawal. As social interaction decreases, many individuals experience an increase in depression. This, in turn, causes many individuals to further reduce their social interactions, causing more isolation and more depression. In cases such as these, a vicous cycle has developed which can greatly affect mental health.
One of the best ways to minimize the likelihood of developing this type of depression, or break the vicous cycle is to take control of hearing, through the use of hearing aids and compensatory strategies. Being able to follow conversational speech with ease will help make social situations more rewarding and enjoyable again as well as reduce the likelihood of depression.